I have been hunting strawberries lately. Unsuccessfully, I may add. You see, I need a lot of good, fresh, local strawberries, preferably self picked to make good on all the promises of strawberry ice-cream, strawberry jam and strawberry sorbet. The ice-cream and the sorbet have been inside my head since the most miserable winter months, I was dreaming of fresh, sweet strawberries that fill the whole house with fragrance. The jam, like my grandmother used to make, with slices of lemon and tiny firm strawberries added at the very end, was promised to quite a few folks.
I thought that as soon as strawberry season hits, I would go picking and utilizing own children’s labor pick enough strawberries to fully satisfy all of the above ambitions. Yeh, right? Nothing ever goes as planned anymore. Early in the strawberry season it was so cold that I didn’t even bother finding out if the berries where available for picking, I just assumed they were not. Mid-season, my weekends got a bit hectic and I just couldn’t find the time to go. As it got later and later in the season I got worried that I will miss out, so I attempted to pick last weekend, but the farm was closed… “Due to ripening” .. I was told. What does that even mean? Did the strawberries not yet ripen or ripen too much? They happily informed me that they will be available for picking first thing Monday morning, of course when the rest of the world including me, has to go to work.
So I went to plan B, thinking I will buy some strawberries at the local market, perhaps enough for the sorbet and ice-cream and pick the rest the following weekend. Tuesday’s market was closed due to extreme heat. By the time I got to the local market on Wednesday, they were all packed up to leave early, also due to heat. I got some strawberries at the downtown market on Thursday but they only had a few boxes left, so it was not nearly enough for me. The weekend phone call to the farms revealed that I was too late, the season is over…. Damn!
I did get to make the sorbet with a bit of berries I got… and it is (was) delicious, refreshing and light. So here it is:
For the Sorbet:
2 pints of strawberries de-stemmed.
¾ cup of water
½ cup of sugar or ¼ cup agave syrup
Juice of one lemon
1 tbs of vodka
Combine the berries, water, sugar ( or syrup) and the lemon juice in the blender and puree until smooth.
Transfer to pot and cook on low heat for 5 – 7 minutes, don’t boil the mixture.
Stir in the vodka and chill for a few hours or overnight. Freeze in your ice-cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions.
Now to all who were promised the jam, I am sorry, better luck next year.